Saturday, December 31, 2005

Advani as Ram and Pramod Mahajan as Lakshman: the BJP Masquerade

Shorn of political power, ignoble in defeat, here goes Vajpayee-the most eloquent, even if Janus- faced, leader that the BJP and the Hindutva Right could produce in decades: comparing Advani and Pramod Mahajan (Vajpayee's protege) to Ram and Lakshman. Advani had likened himself to Arjuna during the Jinnah fracas- when cornered the BJP leaders now compare themselves to the gods and borrow figures from mythology! One is reminded of one of the most eloquent and oft quoted pasages where Marx states:
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.
...

(In France) From 1848 to 1851, only the ghost of the old revolution circulated ...Now they have not only a caricature of the old Napoleon, but the old Napoleon himself, caricatured as he would have to be in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The BJP and its Hindutva family has caricatured Hinduism for years using Lord Ram's name as a battle cry for carrying out a counter- revolution against the achievements of the nationalist struggle for freedom and the secular constitution and polity. The movement for the destruction of the Babri Masjid is no longer something that its own cadre can claim to be a movement for the construction of a Ram Temple, let alone for rejuvenating the Hindu society.

It would be preposterous to even associate the BJP leaders with Lord Rama and others from the Ramayana. If at all they are caricaturing anyone, it is themselves. Picking up names from the mythological past and trying to don the masks on themselves shows the party as what it is: little more than a masquerade. And a dangerous one in its deliberate ignorance.

In an interesting aside, Uma Bharati has compared herself to Eklavya and the RSS to Dronacharya !

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2 comments:

Harini Calamur said...

we should all start getting worried when they pull out Gods and characters from mythology and start comparing themselves to them. At a very basic level it is akin to blasphemy.
imagine if a western leader compared himself to christ - everyone would be looking for the name of the psychiatrist.
and on uma bharati - i hope that dronacharya asks for her tongue instead of the thumb :)

bhupinder singh said...

Your comment on Uma Bharati had me roaring with laughter :-) ... though to be fair to her, she has not compared herself to a goddess but with a victim (Dronacharya wanted to make sure that a tribal boy would not be able to compete with the (kshatriya) Pandavas.) She comes from a backward caste herself.